I love it when my kids go outdoors and play; it really brings me back to my own childhood. And then on rainy days or winter days, (now it could be for pandemic days) …. my mom would pull out some sort of ‘make-it’ project for us. So, that’s what I do now for my own littles. At any time on the top shelf of my closet are some go-to craft kits to brighten up a day. Of course, it’s not uncommon for me to bust one out just because….. because kiddos should be creative and spend less time on gadgets. And, just because I love doing the projects with them! It’s a great opportunity for 1-1 time with my children. Below are the top craft kits for kids, so you have something to start with that is sure to inspire much more creativity to come.
Best Craft Kits for Kids
(Best gift — $)
Why it’s great: One of the highlights of this art kit is the fact that you’re giving the artist room to be quite creative. Ten different bead pets can be created using the templates provided. Awesome keychains or decorations for the outside of backpacks are easily crafted. The kiddos should be able to follow the pattern if they are about 6-9 years old, and that’s the perfect age for wanting to create more and more of their own bead pets without following the templates. Because once they have the hang of it, they can make so many more things than is suggested, just by purchasing some replacement beads, which can be fairly inexpensive. Another aspect I liked about this craft kit was that if my daughter makes a mistake while creating a bead pet, she can unravel it and start over. No materials lost! Open up a fun and satisfying world where kids create useful items they can give to family and friends.
Keep in mind: These use pony beads, which are not designed for toddlers. Even if you have an older child at home who will use this fun kit, keep in mind that they may leave materials around that younger kids could get ahold of.
Good for: kids who can use a template and then take it to the next level and do their own thing.
2. Rainbow Loom
(Best pre-teen & teen craft — $)
Why it’s great: This is also a kit that can produce so much more than what’s suggested on the box. It comes with 600 rubber bands and other pieces the child will need for the projects, as well as picture-by-picture instructions. After practicing with the typical bracelet and necklaces, kids can go on to become miniature experts who create things like dog collars to Christmas ornaments. It takes more small motor skills and patience than some other craft kits out there, and it’s suggested that the kids are 7+ years old. Even teens are into rainbow loom creations. After they get the basics down from the kit, they can peruse the internet for some of the new, modern things pre-teens and teens are making these days. It’s actually quite impressive! And it all starts with their first Rainbow Loom kit.
Keep in mind: Have the children work on a dark surface; it’s easier to see the small rubber bands while they’re creating their next awesome design.
Good for: Children who love attention to detail and putting a spin on designs.
(Most nostalgic — $$)
Why it’s great: Seeing the Shrinky Dinks package brings me way back….to the times of magic transformation! Coloring on the sheets and watching them bake (with the oven light on, of course) and turn into miniature versions of themselves…what fun! And, it’s still fun for today’s generation! What I love about this kit specifically is that it’s not just Shrinky Dinks for the fun of it, but it’s practical too; your child will be making jewelry with this 68-piece kit, which includes: 42 Shrinky Dinks, 8 colored pencils, 10 adhesive dots, beads, 4 earring hoops, 2 barrettes, and elastic string. Of course, instructions are included and are easy to follow. Kids get to choose the colors and patterns, so there is an element of creativity in each product they make. If you get this craft kit for your kids, you may want to order an extra set, because you’ll be tempted to go back in time and make some, too!
Keep in mind: The kids will need help using the oven when it’s time to bake the Shrinky Dinks.
Good for: Kids who have their ears pierced and are getting interested in wearing jewelry.
(Best first sewing kit — $$)
Why it’s great: Working on a sewing project when you’re young will help you later in life when you have a wardrobe crisis on your hands. Little ones don’t care about this yet…but you’re setting them up for success! The animals they create with the pre-cut patterns are super cute, and the instructions are easy to follow. The scissors provided are perfect for small hands. In total, they’ll make 5 woodland creatures, and everything comes in a cute green and white carrying case. The animals are great for taking on trips because they are only 4-6 inches tall. When going on a plane ride, bring along the finished animals to keep the little one busy and happy.
Keep in mind: This kit comes with needles and pushpins, so take care to know where they are and not let them get into the hands of younger kiddos.
Good for: Stuffed animal lovers who are learning to sew.
(Most useful — $$$)
Why it’s great: Sometimes children go through phases where they don’t want to wash their hands. Say goodbye to that phase when you engage them in their own soap-making! This Dan & Darci kit really brings great things together: color mixing, science, and dinosaurs. It comes with everything they’ll need to make 6 soaps. The molds are easy to fill with glycerin and it comes with several color choices. The kids can even make multi-colored dino soaps! We keep one in the tub (Stegosaurus has been on some deep sea adventures) and one next to the sink. I don’t have to ask twice; my son will wash his hands without batting an eye! Plus, when the soaps run out, we can buy more glycerin at a local craft store and re-use the molds. There’s enough coloring for extras, as well. It’s really the craft kit that keeps on giving!
Keep in mind: To cool off the dinos while your child is waiting for the soap to harden, put the mold in the freezer. It goes much quicker!
Good for: Little boys and girls who are into dinosaurs and love science activities.
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(Best variety — $$)
Why it’s great: You can create just about anything your mind can think of out of clay. And with this kit, you’ll have 36 colors and a whole bunch of tools/accessories to help you with it. Once your child has molded their perfect shape, the clay will air dry and the shape will be forever preserved. The best part for adults? It’s a non-staining formula that is non-toxic and eco-friendly. It’s fun to see children express their thoughts through this art medium. This is great for a play date or kindergarten class activity.
Keep in mind: Small children should be watched to make sure they don’t try to ingest the modeling clay.
Good for: kids who have active imaginations and like to create things from scratch.
(Most simple to follow — $)
Why it’s great: Kids can gain great small motor skills and learn about following patterns with this kit for young minds. It comes with 5 picture boards that are 9’ square. The child will follow the patterns with the 984 mosaic stickers that come with it. They’ll feel satisfaction in starting with a nearly blank canvas and by the end, creating a colorful work of art. This is great for young kids around 5-10 years old. This is the least messy kit around—no paint, glue, small pieces, nor much to throw away. I have several of these finished projects on my fridge, and my kiddos feel very accomplished when they see their finished products hung up for all to see!
Keep in mind: Some of the stickers are pretty small, so little hands (younger than 5 years old) will struggle with getting them off the sticker sheet.
Good for: Kids and parents who don’t like messy activities, but like creating colorful artwork that follows a pattern.
FAQs about Craft Kits for Kids
1. What is the best type of craft I can have my daughter do on a long plane ride?
Of course, you want to keep your daughter busy on the plane, but don’t want anything messy. You’ll also want to avoid a lot of little pieces. It’s best to go with something simple yet entertaining, such as Joyin Make A Face Sticker Sheets. Or a craft set by Melissa Doug that is made specifically for when you’re on-the-go.
2. Which craft kit will be fun for both my son and daughter?
If your children are younger, such as 2-4 years old, Hand Puppet Kits are a fun afternoon activity and can be used to create scenes or characters from favorite books. For older children in the 5-9 age range, a Bouncy Ball Kit is sure to be a hit. Both of the items mentioned are also great items for get-togethers and birthday parties.
3. What is the best craft kit to give as a gift?
There are so many kits out there, you really can’t go wrong for a gift as long as you consider the following: age of the child, if it’s messy or makes a lot of noise (be polite to parents and avoid these!), and complexity. It’s best to steer clear of things that are too intense (take a long time to complete) unless you know the child really well and understand their personality inside and out.
4. What is the best craft kit for toddlers?
Something that has flexibility for different ages is a modeling clay kit. This one by HOLICOLOR comes with 36 different colors and toddlers can make any shape their hearts desire. Side note: If your child is still in the ‘everything goes in my mouth’ stage, you’ll want to supervise closely.
5. My daughter is very detail-oriented. Is there a craft kit that would best suit her?
A jewelry kit is a classic hit for kids who are organized and have an eye for detail. I would also suggest something like a Rainbow Loom, since the possibilities of what she can create are endless. If your daughter is a little younger (6-8), she may be also interested in the Bead Pets Kit. There are so many designs out there, and some can get very intricate!
6. Is there a good craft kit that homeschooled kids could do as a group?
We have friends who homeschool their children and love stopping by the park on PE day or Art day. That’s when lots of homeschooled kids get together for a fun lesson. Something simple would be picture frame craft kit, especially around an upcoming holiday. If there’s an upcoming group field trip and you want a themed T-shirt, consider having the group make matching tye-dyed shirts. Always a hit!
7. My son is really into dinosaurs and cars. Is there something crafty that uses those types of things?
Arts and crafts are a tried-and-true way to bring smiles to kids’ faces, inspire new ideas, and relieve boredom. Your child may even find a new hobby. When all is said and done, you’ll be able to have your own at-home studio gallery and have an art show of new, incredible works. Perhaps there’s a new glitter soap in the bathroom made by your daughter, or a sun catcher in the window from your son. Your kiddo will be grateful for the experiences and many fun memories will be made. Happy creating!